Tag Archives: job s

30 Email Etiquette Tips

5 Feb

No matter what career path or position you’re in, chances are you use some form of email communication to reach out to your customers, colleagues, prospects or associates.  A colleague of mine forwarded me some tips on email etiquette that are really great to keep in mind (and equally easy to overlook).  Especially if you’re a job seeker or reaching out to a party whom you don’t have a prior connection to, adhere to the rules to gain that much more of an edge over your competition.  Behold:

1.    Be concise. ‘Nuff said.

2.    Get to the point. Place your main point, request, or question in the very first sentence of your message.

3.    Spell check. Proofread. Make sense.

4.    Use proper layout.

5.    Use a readable font in a size that is easy to see.

6.    Avoid stationery that takes a large amount of megabytes

7.    Use the person’s name, either in the greeting, or in the body of the message.

8.    Keep language gender neutral.

9.    Avoid text lingo (oops, I mean language.)

10.   Use only abbreviations that are well known.

11.   Avoid emoticons and smiley faces.

12.   Avoid long sentences.

13.   Use active vs. passive voice.

14.   Answer all questions, and anticipate future questions.

15.   Include the important points of the message thread.

16.   Clean up forwarded emails. Either delete unnecessary verbiage or highlight the important points.

17.   Use detailed subject lines to help your recipient quickly understand the focus of your message.

18.   For very short messages, use the subject line as the message, ending in EOM (End Of Message) to let them know not to open the message.

19.   Avoid writing in ALL CAPS. It is viewed as “shouting.”

20.   Use the high priority option only when it is truly high priority.

21.   Use the words “URGENT” and “IMPORTANT” sparingly, and only when it is true.

22.   Use ‘Reply all’ only when every person in the distribution really needs to receive the message.

23.   Avoid sending email messages when you are emotional. Regardless of how you try to mask it, people will “feel it.”

24.   Never forward messages that are off color, offensive, racist, or obscene.

25.   Don’t forward chain emails, or emails threatening you if you “don’t forward in 24 hours.”

26.   Copy ONLY the persons who really need to receive the email.

27.   Avoid using email to provide “constructive criticism.” It is never taken positively. Those conversations should be done in person.

28.   Avoid using BCC to rat out your co-workers. It turns YOU into the rat.

29.   Avoid using email to “discuss” issues among several people – the threads become diffused, and the content is difficult to follow. Call a meeting instead.

30.   Avoid sending urgent emails. If you need a response in under 3 hours, visit or call.

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